Most of the dialogue spewing from Bill’s mouth will turn the stomach of viewers who can understand his exaggerated delivery, as he munches on fried clitorises and medium rare testicles, while lamenting the heat and firing attacks at every single character he comes in contact with.
Of course, he has monologues directed at African Americans, Mexicans, and Muslims. Rest assured, he also makes sure to offend homosexuals, dwarfs and especially women. Speaking of women, there is only one of them in the entire film (Bree Olsen, one of Charlie Sheen’s “goddesses”), and she exists only as a sexual object that is even more attractive when she is beaten up.
Some other familiar faces also are along for the show, including Tiny Lister, Rob LASardo, and Eric Roberts, further confirming his anything-for-a-paycheck work ethic. The meat of the film (so to speak) comes in the final third, after a particularly graphic nightmare inspires Bill to finally accept the idea of transforming his prisoners into the first human prison centipede. They consult a shady prison doctor who insists he can make it work and set about attaching the prisoners in a 500-person-long string around the prison yard.
Director Six even shows up halfway through the flick as himself, acting offended at the sights he inspired and even vomits in revulsion to his own film that he wrote and directed. If that doesn’t give some clue to what kind of twisted genius Mr. Six is, then nothing will. I picture him as the misfit kid from grade school who always asked everyone whats grosser than gross, and would answer every single test question wrong just to prove he was smarter than everyone else.
A visionary troublemaker with some seriously twisted ideas, Mr. Six has the balls to be the guy poking all the bears with his cane, and most likely basking in all the outrage while he rolls around in a pile of hate mail. Love him or hate him, we need directors like him, lest the only options for viewing become big budget dumb affairs without a bit of originality. After the entire film pushing the envelope, I still found myself shaking my head in amused shock as the Star-Spangled Banner played over the rolling credits.
With all that said, Final Sequence is a difficult film for anyone to like, which I suspect was exactly the point Six was trying to make.
I loved it.
Hey guys and ghouls! Waaay back in October, I decided that it was time to make a change for the better in my life. So I kicked cigarettes and began to vape. I’m not here to preach to you that vaping is better or anything like that. I am, however, going to tell you about some awesome flavors that I encounter. Before I begin this first review though, I want to take some time out to give a HUGE thanks to Mt Baker Vapor for taking me on as an official e-juice reviewer! I hope I can do you guys justice!
Onto the review! So for my first review, I had to share the awesomeness with you guys! Mt Baker has an amazing line of GWAR juice that I knew would be amazing. I chose to get the Jizmogoblin, Bloodbath, and German Chocolate Beefcake to begin and my oh my, I was NOT disappointed. For those curious, the GWAR flavors come in a standard 50pg/50vg but you are able to choose your level of nicotine. Since I’m dripping, I chose to go with a 3mg level. For those wondering about my setup, I am currently using a copper Stingray with a Mutilator RDA. If you are using these flavors in a glass tank, I highly recommend that you get the uncolored flavors, as the coloring can stain your glass.
I’ll first begin with Bloodbath and all it’s bloody glory. The Mt Baker website describes it as “A powerful tropical fruit blend specially designed to satisfy the bloodlust of every scumdog in the universe.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. I’ve noticed that many tropical fruit flavors tend to be sometimes over-powering when it comes to vaping, but Bloodbath is the perfect blend and it has some nice clouds to it as well. I definitely give this one a two thumbs up. Next on my list is German Chocolate Beefcake…sounds interesting, right? It’s a beautiful blend of cake, coconut, chocolate, and caramel. I would have to say that this was my favorite juice to vape of the three that I chose. I’m also a bit of a desserts vaper myself, but there was something that was just damn special about this one. I’ve already went through half the bottle over the weekend because I just couldn’t put it down. Beefcake the Mighty made a hit with this recipe.
Last but not least is Jizmogoblin! This blazing blue flavor is a mixture of creamy blueberry, custard, and nut. Each bottle is specially harvested by Skullhedface herself. I enjoyed this flavor a lot and it was very delicious. I took it with me on a trip this weekend and wound up having some family members vape a ton of it while we were hanging out because they really liked it as well. If you’re interested in purchasing any of the flavors I have listed, feel free to click on the links I provided in this review and grab some! The GWAR flavors are currently priced at $10.99, so you can afford two or three! I’ve got a ton more reviews to do for Mt Baker coming up that I am very excited to share with you all.
Well hello there! I bet you never thought you’d see my face again…
That’s right! It’s Nymphetamine Jade and I am back and better than ever! So what does a writer do when they have a lack of Internet for almost two years? A boring, adult life. I did have a lot of exciting things happen in between, but I’m sure you guys aren’t interested in all of that. What I want this post to be about are the things that I have planned for my blog. Of course, I am going to continue with my movie and convention reviews and I am even looking to revive Historic Horrors. But one thing that I picked up out in the real world was vaping and I would really like to begin a vape review. I’ve already began looking into a few lines I’m wanting to try, and man, I am excited about this!
I’m trying to gauge really what the interest would be in this. Do I have any fellow vapers out there? Is there a specific juice or mod you’d like to see me try? Let me know in the comments below! For those of you interested in what I have been doing in the last couple of months, here’s a few pictures to catch you up to speed. Coming up this weekend is Full Moon Horror and Tattoo Festival in Nashville! If you might remember correctly, I attended Full Moon in Chattanooga a couple of years ago. I can’t wait to see some familiar faces and meet some new ones! You can also keep up with me on Instagram at: Nymphetamine Jade
Kevin Smith and I 4/16/15
Rapper Jellyroll and I 4/23/15
Ralphie May and I 4/16/15
Nymphetamine Jade and Wookie Promocalypse in Nashville
Over the past five years, Pardee began to work closely with Green to develop the idea as a live action feature, and at long last we horror fans get treated with the end result. What Adam Green has crafted from these years of work is an expert-level tale of misunderstood monsters of all shapes and sizes, which turns the found footage sub-genre on it’s head (“It’s not found footage! It’s footage footage!” he argues exasperatedly at one point.) and ultimately reveals itself to be a heartfelt love letter to these ghouls who go bump in the night. Adapting Pardee’s original premise of a strange man convinced of monsters who is trying to share his story, the film is a psuedo-documentary which follows Green and his cameraman Will as they interview Decker and attempt to bring the story of these elusive creatures to the masses.
The intro of the film sets the tone immediately, establishing roots in the horror convention scene in interviews and conversations with horror luminaries such as Tony Todd, Lloyd Kaufman, comedian Steve Agee, and artists like Jason Edmiston and Pardee himself, all professing their love of horror, and specifically, monsters. In one touching tribute to the director’s good friend and frequent co-star, the late and sorely missed Oderus Urungus says “I have been a monster. I will always be a monster. And after I am dead, I will still be a monster.”
The heart of the film is laid from the beginning ; a true love of monsters. And Adam Green is the perfect guy to tell this story ; his likeable presence in front of the camera has been great for his web-series Holliston, and here, playing himself, his love of the dark underbelly shines through and the passion with which he pursues the possibilities of real monsters is infectious. Even though most of his co-horts and fellow horror geeks are skeptical, Green remains a firm believer and it is hard not to get as excited as he is when they get their first glimpse of the creatures in the woods. Kane Hodder shows up and steals one scene as Green excitedly shows him some of the footage only for the horror icon to shake his head and scoff “Found footage? Oh boy, like that hasn’t been done before…”
The whole story is sold even further by the note-perfect performance by Ray Wise (Twin Peaks) as Decker, as he explains the “Marrow” and his relationship with it in a series of amusingly deadpan interviews. He takes some of the more absurd dialogue to new levels with his completely serious commitment to the character. One particularly chilling anecdote tells the tale of Brella, a story we only hear through the telling and a painting of her likeness, but serves as a creepy warning of what is to come.
In fact it is this kind of ambiguous storytelling that makes the film so effective. In true monster movie form, very little of the creatures are seen full on. In fact, the mythology around these misunderstood ghouls is built surely and steadily with stories like this, small unexplained details, quick glimpses of shadow, until the audience is just as eager as Green is to ultimately confirm or deny the existence of these real monsters. The film moves along at such a brisk pace that sucks the viewer right into this world where something else really is out there in the woods, underneath our feet, living their own lives as we go about ours.
As Decker ultimately reveals himself to be a sort of gaurdian of these misfits with his own secret ties to their society, things escalate beyond control, and the hidden tribe is forced to defend themselves and protect their territory, as Green and his crew continue to film. The unpredictability of the third act keeps the viewer guessing the whole time, and shows us some truly innovative sights, equal parts terrifying and heart-wrenching. The practical effects based on Pardee’s unique artwork are convincing and creepy as hell, especially the way they are presented to us, not as special effects but as real breathing beings. One of the many triumphs of this truly amazing and memorable film.
Overall, Digging Up The Marrow is a top-notch entry in to the horror films of 2015, and a confident move in a new direction for director Adam Green. Here’s hoping he continues to make innovative passion projects like this for years to come.
I can’t recommend this film enough. This is a must-see for horror geeks of all shapes and sizes.
Digging Up The Marrow opens in limited theaters tomorrow February 20th, and simultaneously On Demand that same day.
It will be available on DVD and Blu-Ray on March 24th, 2015.
For more news and updates, follow Adam Green on Alex Pardee on Facebook.
Grade : A
I’m going to be honest here, as I am with all of my movie reviews.
I love a lot of horror movies, I love monsters and weird stuff, crazy inexplicable violence on screen.
But the whole “torture porn” sub-genre has never done much for me. The original Saw was pretty good, but I honestly lost interest after the first few sequels, and Hostel never did rub me the right way, as much as I consider myself to be a fan of Eli Roth. (Can’t wait for The Green Inferno!)
Trying to think of examples of the genre I liked, I’m coming up with a short list. The first Wolf Creek. Martyrs, but that film re-invented the whole idea of “torture porn”. I don’t know, I am sure there have been a few more that I enjoyed but they never stand out as my favorites.
With that said, the major selling point of the new film In The House Of Flies, to me, was the casting of legend Henry Rollins as “the voice of the killer”. I am a life long fan of Rollins, through his music, books and spoken word performances. I love the incredibly ironic on-screen roles that he chooses, for example the cop in The Chase or the Nazi skinhead in Sons Of Anarchy. I especially love that he isn’t afraid to play in the horror genre, giving us that awesome Rambo-esque performance in Wrong Turn 2, the fornicating motivational speaker-turned-battering ram in Feast, and even in a starring role (I think he is a vampire, but still not a lot of news about this one) in the upcoming horror film He Never Died.
So yeah, the flick more than lives up to this premise, and gives some good chuckles and serious gross-outs along the way, but in the end it is just another tedious torture flick.
Honestly, without the inclusion of Rollins’ horrifying phone calls as he playfully puts the screws to our beleaguered and bland lead couple, I probably would have just skipped it.
The predicament that Steve and Heather find themselves in is unique and compelling at first, as they inexplicably wake up trapped in a random basement, with only a few mysterious locked suitcases and an old rotary phone. It is incredibly claustrophobic and uncomfortable as they become accustomed to their surroundings, only to repeatedly be menaced by Rollins on the phone making ridiculous demands in exchange for the combinations to the suitcases. As Henry’s demands become more sadistic and the contents of the cases become increasingly stranger, the main characters obviously and unfortunately become more fatigued and uninteresting. To be fair, if you were trapped in a basement for three weeks playing the mindfuck games of a sadistic stranger, you would probably become a lot less active and interesting. So it is realistic, I guess, but it just isn’t a whole lot of fun to watch two defeated, deflated characters wish that they could just die already. It makes you long for it to just be over, as well.
So, in that sense, I think the film is successful. By the end of it you feel like you have slogged through the ordeal with them, for better and worse.
It is worth a watch for any Rollins fan to hear him say lines like “Bad girls don’t get water“.
One last quick note. I find it really odd that even though the title of the film is obviously inspired by the Deftones song [Change] In The House Of FLies, nowhere in the film does the song appear, although during some tense basement scenes, you can hear some tones reminiscent of the tune. I for sure thought it would play over the closing credits. Maybe the rights cost too much or something, but the songs that bookend the film felt jarringly inappropriate, and feel like the film as a whole would have benefited from actually using the titular song.
Grade : C
Available on DVD and On Demand today is the latest installment in the ground-breaking [REC] franchise.
The first two Spanish films have definitely earned their reputations as some of the most genuinely frightening films of the past decade, and shining examples of “found footage” perfection. While the third in the series took a wild turn in a new direction (that I actually really enjoyed, although sometimes I think I am the only one), the news that the director of the original, Jaume Balaguero, would return to helm the fourth installment gave great hope to fans of the quick and dirty terror of the first two films.
However, [REC] 4 has more in common with the often unfairly-derided third film than it does the first two.
The real great news here is the return of Manuela Velasco as the journalist Angela, and the progression of her ferocious character through all of this madness. I mean, the last time we saw Angela, this was happening to her :
When we catch up with the developing story, everyone has been coralled onto an ocean liner staffed with scientists and military, all seeking to either escape or destroy this virus. They neatly tie the third film in by including an elderly woman who was a guest at the disastrous wedding from that installment, and quickly establish that these are the most desperate times. By ditching the hand held style that defined the first two films, we get a much more cinematic experience, and the claustrophobia of the doomed boat is eerily similar to the confined hallways of the apartment building. Integrating the found footage of the originals in a neat twist, the scientists on board the ship piece together what previously happened and try desperately to find a way to cure this plague, which leads to a lot of confusion and yelling. Then an unexpected storm causes a blackout, which leads to a new outbreak and BAM!
A fucking zombie monkey attack!
Yup, you guessed it, the monkey was carrying the virus all along, and someone let it out and now it infected all of the food and we get a horrifying series of action set pieces climaxing with Angela stumbling around in the dark belly of the ocean liner rather than the dark attic of the tenement. The film takes a brief turn into John Carpenter territory when they discover that the parasite that was living within Angela has been transferred elsewhere, and the scene is a great homage to The Thing.
Otherwise, it is pretty typical run for your life stuff, although there is something particularly unnerving about the way these infected move, super-fast and utterly reckless. It is especially frightful as they barrell down the slim underwater corridors of the doomed ship, grunting and dripping with goo.
The whole affair is very well-crafted and tense, punctuated with intense bursts of violence. The infected are suitably disgusting and drippy, and it is great suspenseful fun while it lasts. I enjoyed it very much as the “action-packed thrill-ride” the poster promises, but any fans of the originals who were looking for a return to the genuine scares and creep factor of the first films will most likely be left wanting. This fourth film is apparently meant to be the last in the series, and ends on a suitably bleak but slightly cheesy note.
Overall [REC] 4 is a must see for fans of the series, and a well-executed addition to the tired “zombie/infected” films of the past decade, but really doesn’t bring much new to the table.
I still recommend it, the zombie monkey is priceless!
“Conformity is the key.
Put on the mask of a simple man and no one ever knows the difference.
Everyone is so concerned with how you see them that they never bother to see you.”
Coyote is that creepy weird piece of lonesome nastiness that you never knew you were looking for in a film.
The independent production made big waves on the festival circuit last year, and it will finally be available on DVD this month, on December 16th.
I first heard it described as “a nightmarish psychological horror that blends Taxi Driver with Videodrome“, which is as accurate a description as any. However, first time writer/director Trevor Juenger and independent horror icon Bill Oberst Jr. have created a main character so desperately lonely that he makes Travis Bickle look like an upstanding socialite.
A non-linear assault on the senses, it seems that the whole purpose is to keep the audience on edge and break taboos, which they succeed in greatly. Essentially a window into the mind of a man slowly losing his sanity, the confusion and horror is expertly conveyed with grotesque imagery, bizarre double takes, and inventive use of sound effects.
As a film about loneliness and desperation should be, the story is very sparsely populated, and the focus is directly on Bill as he slowly descends into a surreal madness. Bill Oberst Jr. is no stranger to playing dark roles like this (If you haven’t seen Circus of the Dead yet, do so right away!), and he proves himself to be a treasured gift to the horror genre with another fearless performance.
Right off the bat it is established that our protagonist is a strange sort, as he struggles over how to convey his happiness in a letter to his mother. In reality, he works a dreary job in a moving van, surrounded by darkness and negativity. The character seems to feed on this energy in a way, letting the evil around him slowly grow his own hidden darkness. He is also a struggling writer, who is plagued by vicious nightmares of being murdered in bed, leading him to believe in the mantra, “If I sleep, I will die.”
As time passes in a hazy surreal way, Bill realizes he is changing, but also seems powerless (or unwilling) to stop the change. He knows that his current form is only the pupal stage, that he began as a worm, and that he is evolving “for no reason at all“. The story is simple and fragmented, weaving in and out of dreams and visions, switching between bursts of violence to serene scenes of beauty. This is exactly what I look for in horror films, the simple chance to get lost in someone else’s madness for a while, and forget about my own for the running time.
Coyote is that rare intense film that you wont soon forget, a visually inventive and unflinching nightmare of madness and depravity. According to Bill Oberst Jr., Coyote is the same strange vision on film that it was on paper. It is available on DVD today December 16th 2014 from Wild Eye Releasing.
As a lifelong “Constant Reader” of the books of Stephen King, I am happy to report that his newest novel Revival hits all of those notes we have come to expect as fans of his writing. And in the end he smashes those notes hard, and we readers definitely feel the impact. Taken only with the promise from King himself that the new book is a “straight-ahead horror novel”, I just burned through this one in a few sittings and don’t expect to forget about it any time soon.
All the classic themes of King’s fiction are here : faith, tragedy, disillusion, addiction, curiosity, obsession and death, and we get right to it in a great opening set in the Autumn of 1962 in (you guessed it) a small town in Maine. Our narrator is a six year old boy playing with a birthday batch of green army men when we first meet him, and right away a shadow falls over young Jamie Morton. This shadow, which King refers to as “the fifth business” -the joker that pops in and out of your life at odd intervals over the years – is a young minister named Charles Jacobs.
Jamie quickly develops an easy friendship with the new preacher and the two become linked throughout their lives, for the better and the worse. Jacobs proves to be a great inspiration for the children who visit his Parrish, and his wife and young son integrate themselves into everyday life of the small New England town. As he gets to know the new Reverend, Jamie learns that Jacobs has a love and special understanding of electricity, and begins a series of experiments that will continue for the rest of their now-intertwined lives. It starts off harmless enough, as Jacobs shows young Jamie an experimental photoelectric cell that he built to create the illusion of a plastic Jesus walking on water. This makes clear the Reverend’s secret side, one that possibly believes more in something else than he does in the light of the Lord.
The Morton family is large, and we see the events of the story through the first person account of Jamie, but the rest of the family is important in many ways. His brother Connie is a huge part of the transformation of Reverend Jacobs, as he loses the ability to talk in a wicked skiing accident. After some time as a frustrated mute, Jamie convinces Con to let the trusted Reverend try one of his experiments on him, which is a great success. It is, of course, a slippery slope and the reverend begins to lose his way, believing that electricity is more powerful than God. Then one day, a tragic accident takes Jacobs wife and son from him in a graphic and horrible way, and the way of god is lost to him. He gives a sermon as honest as it is blasphemous, shaking the faith of everyone in the church that day, and then vanishes.
After what comes to be known as “The Terrible Sermon”, life keeps right on going for every one else, including Jamie. In the best King tradition, we follow along as Jamie grows up, has his first love, and follows his own path through life. Although Jacobs is gone, his influence is present all through Jamie’s passionately-written formative years as he has an electric first experience with sex, discovers his talent at picking the guitar, and falls in love with hard drugs.
It is later, when Jamie finds himself at his lowest point – homeless, jobless, and strung out – that his old fifth business shows up again. After leaving the hokum of religion behind, the reverend has now become a different type of con-man, a carnival barker with some impressive electrical experiments that wows the crowd night after night. Of course it is all smoke and mirrors to obscure his true experiments with what he refers to as the “secret electricity”, and it becomes obvious to Jamie that his old friend and mentor is continuing down a frightening path. However, it is a path that Jamie is now bound to, especially after Jacobs “cures” him of his heroin addiction and nurses him back to health.
Years pass again, and now we see life from the perspective of middle-aged Jamie, who has worked successfully as a music producer for many years, without so much as a thought to the drug that almost ended him years before. Tragedy comes and goes, and it all feels much like real life, and then the wild card rears his head again. This time Jacobs again embraces his Preacher persona, with added cynicism, and he is found traveling the countryside giving out miracle cures to the bumpkins who show up to sing and dance and speak in tongues. Many of these cures are genuine, and Jamie learns the hard way of their side-effects but is powerless to stop his old friend from continuing his experiments.
It all gets darker from there, as Jamie, now an old man in the present day, does some detective work and learns that the after effects of his old friend’s cures range from mild annoyances to screaming fits of horror, suicide and murder. Jamie proves to be a fascinating character, especially in these later chapters after we have grown old with him. He knows the difference between right and wrong, but he also knows that there is something else, a grey area that his old mentor has discovered – and he is spellbound with curiosity as well as loyalty.
At just over four hundred pages, Revival is relatively short for a King novel, and the conclusion comes at the reader with frightening speed. We as readers are meant to feel just as trapped as Jamie during the final moments, forced to stare into the abyss at last. It is no coincidence that King dedicates Revival to classic horror pioneers H.P. Lovecraft, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and Arthur Machen. Although in recent interviews with the author, he claims to have chosen to believe in God, the bleak climax of the novel tells a frightening version of truth and pulls no punches, giving us a nightmarish vision of an afterlife so horrible it brings about more questions than answers.
In the end, the novel poses one horrible new question, and paints an even more terrifying picture of the answer.
What if all religions, including atheism, have it wrong?
Open Windows, the new film from Timecrimes director Nacho Vigalondo is a groundbreaking and hypnotic journey through the nightmares of modern technology.
The film tells the twisted tale of Nick (Elijah Wood), a young geek with a fan blog who gets pulled deep into a convoluted plot by a mysterious voice on the other end of the internet. His website is a classy fan site for big time star Jill Goddard (Sasha Grey), who is attending a press conference for her newest sci-fi big budget adventure film. Nick has been contacted by her representatives and been told that he has won a dinner date with the young lady, which he learns she has abruptly cancelled. The voice on the other end of the line is “Chord”, who initially claims to be one of the producers working with the starlet, but leads Nick down a rabbit hole of strange and uncomfortable twists and turns. Before Nick knows it, he (and the audience) is sucked right into this strange sequence of events, and the pace is so frantic we never even have the chance to question what is going on.
While the concept can be considered to be a modern day take on Hitchcock’s Rear Window, the real gimmick here is that everything you see in the film is via a computer screen, so Nick’s laptop is of key importance. The screens and windows dance in and out of our focus, and really help the voyeuristic tone of the film, making the audience complicit with the progressively more nerve-wracking events. Chord quickly reveals himself to be more enigmatic than we thought, as he orchestrates a convoluted series of events that involve torture, kidnapping and virtual extortion. Touching on a timely theme of young starlets being exploited by media outlets, this ambitious film has a lot to say, and in an entirely new format.
According to the director, “Some years ago my producers asked me to come up with a movie in which social networks and the language of the Internet would feature heavily. I made a counter-proposal: taking the concept to its limit by writing a film that took place entirely on the desktop of a computer, pushing the envelope of the production to make it a really unique adventure.”
Elijah Wood is great in his part as the puppet being dragged along by the strings of a sinister maniac, and I love seeing the little hobbit take on strange roles like this at this time in his career. Nick is a sympathetic stalker, being forced into an uncomfortable situation by a much more nefarious puppeteer, but he tellingly doesn’t wrestle too hard with his conscience when he gets a chance to peek at the holy grail. When the stakes become considerably higher, however, he rises to the occasion to become her hero and joins forces with some amusing French hackers to save the day. Sort of…
Nothing in this film is what it appears to be, and while the breakneck pace of the first two thirds drags the audience along for the ride, the final act kind of stops the film dead in its tracks. Some questionable technology combined with new characters (and one easily forgettable but vitally important one from the beginning) turn the climactic scenes into a jumbled, confusing mess.
The first time I watched it I found myself asking What the FUCK just happened?
Upon a second viewing, things became a little clearer toward the end, but I think it is safe to say that the director used a few cheats to get to the desired conclusion. As with Timecrimes, the science of the sci-fi is clearly not as important to the director as the fiction, but I just didn’t feel that it worked as well here. Overall, Open Windows is a fun and unique experience in a whole new style of film-making, and will not be easy to forget despite the somewhat unsatisfying wrap-up. The film is currently available On Demand, and will also start a limited theatrical run today November 7th, although to be honest I think watching this one on a laptop or mobile device makes the whole package more satisfying.
The new documentary Fantasm is a love letter to the horror community, specifically the huge groups of dedicated fans who frequent conventions all over the country.
Begun as a student film project, director and ardent horror fan Kyle Kutchta has assembled a dedicated and loving look at the phenomenon of horror conventions and the people just like you and I who religiously attend them.
In an effort to understand his own fascination with the genre, the young director embarked on a journey to six horror conventions throughout the united states. Through interviews with actors, directors, horror experts and fellow fans at conventions, Kyle discovered that it’s not only the love of the genre that makes these gatherings so special, but it’s the sense of community.
Fantasm features insight from such notable names as Tom Atkins (Escape from New York), Heather Langenkamp (A Nightmare on Elm Street), Lloyd Kaufman (The Toxic Avenger), Joe Lynch (Wrong Turn 2), Richard Johnson (The Haunting) and more, alongside the dedicated fans who attend horror conventions.
Clocking in at just under an hour, the documentary is a quick and fascinating look at the culture of weirdos and horror nerds and our connection through the love of horror on film. In fact, the entire show seems to be more of an introduction to the scene meant for outsiders and naysayers. Many of the interviewees try very hard to defend their love of the genre and prove that horror folk are just like everyone else. Obviously this could be a great help for any horror fans who have ever felt unjustly persecuted for their love of cinematic grue, as this film provides proof that young outsiders and misfits are being welcomed in and accepted to the fold.
Aside from the fascinating conversations with the aforementioned horror luminaries in defense of our beloved gore, which would make it well worth a watch, the film proves to be somewhat of an eye-opener to older more jaded fans like myself. With a director who is barely in his twenties, he has an entirely different perspective on horror culture than I do. For example, early on in the film he describes how first seeing the remake of “Dawn Of The Dead” in 2006 led to his fascination and eventual passion for the dark side. In a way, this makes the case for remakes, which us older fans tend to write off without merit. According to this young man, the remake led him to the original Romero films, and further down the rabbit hole of classic films that many of us know and love. In fact, the Dawn remake is mentioned fondly several times by younger horror fans, and it is interesting to think of that film a different way, through the eyes of a new horror watcher. The fact that it ignited love for the genre and created a whole new generation of horror geeks is wonderful, and it is a key to the effectiveness of this documentary that it inspires people (even us old guys) to look at the genre in entirely different ways.
Overall, Fantasm is a quick and fun watch which makes the viewer feel right at home among friends, which is the obvious legacy of the community of horror fans who frequent these conventions. It is the next best thing to being there, and will be fun to pop in and watch during the off seasons. It also serves as a great introduction for new and future generations to the whole culture and experience of the convention scene. While at times it seemed to be defending horror just a bit too much for my taste, it is good evidence to have the next time you feel ostracized or left out of something because of your infatuation with fictional evils.
Fantasm will be officially released on DVD on November 11th 2014, and anyone who pre-orders the film before then can get it for a discounted price of $13, also signed by the director.
The DVD will include such special features as the original student film, extended interviews, bloopers, trailers, and a special “Dinner at the Kuchta’s” featurette.
Follow Fantasm on Facebook and Twitter, and be sure and get your very own copy right here!